Minister for Foreign Affairs (Japan)

The Minister for Foreign Affairs (外務大臣, Gaimu Daijin) of Japan is the Cabinet member responsible for Japanese foreign policy and the chief executive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Since the end of the allied occupation of Japan, the position has been one of the most powerful in the Cabinet, as Japan's economic interests have long relied on external relations. The recent efforts of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to establish a more interventionist foreign policy have also heightened the importance of the position.

The position is currently held by Toshimitsu Motegi.

List of ministers

  • Italics indicates subject served as Acting Foreign Minister.
  • Bold indicates subject served concurrently as Prime Minister for a period of time.

Empire of Japan (1885–1945)

#PortraitNameTook officeLeft office
1Count Inoue KaoruDecember 1885September 1887
Count Itō HirobumiSeptember 1887February 1888
2Count Ōkuma Shigenobu
(1st)
February 1888December 1889
3Viscount Aoki Shūzō
(1st)
December 1889May 1891
4Viscount Enomoto TakeakiMay 1891August 1892
5Viscount Mutsu MunemitsuAugust 1892May 1896
6Marquis Saionji Kinmochi
(1st)
May 1896September 1896
2Count Ōkuma Shigenobu
(2nd)
September 1896November 1897
7Baron Nishi TokujirōNovember 1897January 1898
2Count Ōkuma Shigenobu
(3rd)
January 1898June 1898
3Viscount Aoki Shūzō
(2nd)
June 1898October 1900
8Katō Takaaki
(1st)
October 1900June 1901
9Sone ArasukeJune 1901September 1901
10Baron Komura Jutarō
(1st)
September 1901January 1906
8Katō Takaaki
(2nd)
January 1906March 1906
6Marquis Saionji Kinmochi
(2nd)
March 1906May 1906
11Count Hayashi TadasuMay 1906July 1908
12General Viscount Terauchi Masatake
(1st)
July 1908August 1908
10Marquis Komura Jutarō
(2nd)
August 1908August 1911
13Viscount Uchida Kosai
(1st)
August 1911December 1912
14Prince Katsura TarōDecember 1912January 1913
8Baron Katō Takaaki
(3rd)
January 1913February 1913
15Baron Makino NobuakiFebruary 1913April 1914
8Baron Katō Takaaki
(4th)
April 1914August 1915
2Count Ōkuma Shigenobu
(4th)
August 1915October 1915
16Viscount Ishii KikujirōOctober 1915October 1916
12Marshal Count Terauchi Masatake
(2nd)
October 1916November 1916
17Viscount Motono IchirōNovember 1916April 1918
18Baron Gotō ShinpeiApril 1918September 1918
13Count Uchida Kosai
(2nd)
September 19182 September 1923
19Admiral Count Yamamoto Gonnohyōe2 September 192319 September 1923
20Baron Ijuin HikokichiSeptember 1923January 1924
21Baron Matsui KeishirōJanuary 1924June 1924
22Baron Kijūrō Shidehara
(1st)
June 1924April 1927
23Baron Tanaka GiichiApril 1927July 1929
22Baron Kijūrō Shidehara
(2nd)
July 1929December 1931
24Inukai TsuyoshiDecember 1931January 1932
25Kenkichi YoshizawaJanuary 1932May 1932
26Admiral Viscount Saitō MakotoMay 1932July 1932
13Count Uchida Kosai
(3rd)
July 1932September 1933
27Kōki Hirota
(1st)
September 1933March 1936
28Hachirō Arita
(1st)
March 1936February 1937
29Senjuro HayashiFebruary 1937March 1937
30Naotake SatōMarch 1937June 1937
27Kōki Hirota
(2nd)
June 1937May 1938
31General Kazushige UgakiMay 1938September 1938
32Prince Fumimaro KonoeSeptember 1938October 1938
28Hachirō Arita
(2nd)
October 1938January 1939
33General Nobuyuki AbeJanuary 1939August 1939
34Admiral Kichisaburō NomuraAugust 1939January 1940
28Hachirō Arita
(3rd)
January 1940July 1940
35Yōsuke MatsuokaJuly 1940July 1941
36Admiral Teijirō ToyodaJuly 1941October 1941
37Shigenori Tōgō
(1st)
October 1941September 1942
38General Hideki Tōjō1 September 194217 September 1942
39Masayuki TaniSeptember 1942April 1943
40Mamoru Shigemitsu
(1st)
April 1943April 1945
41Admiral Baron Kantarō SuzukiApril 1945April 1945
37Shigenori Tōgō
(2nd)
April 1945August 1945
40Mamoru Shigemitsu
(2nd)
August 1945September 1945

Postwar Japan (1945–present)

  Liberal (1945)
  Imperial Family
  Progressive
  Socialist
  Democratic (1947)
  Democratic Liberal
  Liberal (1950)
  Democratic (1954)
  Liberal Democratic
  Japan Renewal Party
  Japan New Party
  Liberal League
  Democratic

Foreign Minister Term of office Prime Minister
# Portrait Name Took Office Left Office Days
43 Shigeru Yoshida September 15, 1945 May 24, 1947 616 Prince Naruhiko Higashikuni
Kijūrō Shidehara
Shigeru Yoshida
- Tetsu Katayama May 24, 1947 June 1, 1947 8 Tetsu Katayama
44 Hitoshi Ashida June 1, 1947 October 15, 1948 502
Hitoshi Ashida
(43) Shigeru Yoshida October 15, 1948 April 30, 1952 1293 Shigeru Yoshida
45 Katsuo Okazaki April 30, 1952 December 10, 1954 954
(40) Mamoru Shigemitsu December 10, 1954 November 22, 1955 744 Ichirō Hatoyama
November 22, 1955 December 23, 1956
- Tanzan Ishibashi December 23, 1956 December 23, 1956 Tanzan Ishibashi
46 Nobusuke Kishi December 23, 1956 July 10, 1957 199
Nobusuke Kishi
47 Aiichirō Fujiyama July 10, 1957 July 19, 1960 1105
48 Zentaro Kosaka July 19, 1960 July 18, 1962 729 Hayato Ikeda
49 Masayoshi Ōhira July 18, 1962 July 18, 1964 731
50 Shiina Etsusaburo July 18, 1964 December 3, 1966 868
Eisaku Satō
51 Takeo Miki December 3, 1966 October 29, 1968 696
- Eisaku Satō October 29, 1968 November 30, 1968 32
52 Kiichi Aichi November 30, 1968 July 9, 1971 951
53 Takeo Fukuda July 9, 1971 July 7, 1972 364
(49) Masayoshi Ōhira July 7, 1972 July 16, 1974 739 Kakuei Tanaka
54 Toshio Kimura July 16, 1974 December 9, 1974 146
55 Kiichi Miyazawa December 9, 1974 September 5, 1976 646 Takeo Miki
(48) Zentaro Kosaka September 5, 1976 December 24, 1976 100
56 Iichirō Hatoyama December 24, 1976 November 28, 1977 339 Takeo Fukuda
57 Sunao Sonoda November 28, 1977 November 8, 1979 710
Masayoshi Ōhira
58 Saburō Ōkita November 8, 1979 July 17, 1980 252
59 Masayoshi Ito July 17, 1980 May 18, 1981 305 Zenkō Suzuki
(57) Sunao Sonoda May 18, 1981 November 30, 1981 196
60 Yoshio Sakurauchi November 30, 1981 November 27, 1982 362
61 Shintaro Abe November 27, 1982 July 22, 1986 1333 Yasuhiro Nakasone
62 Tadashi Kuranari July 22, 1986 November 6, 1987 472
63 Sosuke Uno November 6, 1987 June 3, 1989 575 Noboru Takeshita
64 Hiroshi Mitsuzuka June 3, 1989 August 10, 1989 68 Sosuke Uno
65 Taro Nakayama August 10, 1989 November 5, 1991 817 Toshiki Kaifu
66 Michio Watanabe November 5, 1991 April 7, 1993 519 Kiichi Miyazawa
67 Kabun Muto April 7, 1993 August 9, 1993 124
68 Tsutomu Hata August 9, 1993 April 28, 1994 262 Morihiro Hosokawa
69 Koji Kakizawa April 28, 1994 June 30, 1994 63 Tsutomu Hata
70 Yōhei Kōno June 30, 1994 January 11, 1996 560 Tomiichi Murayama
71 Yukihiko Ikeda January 11, 1996 September 11, 1997 609 Ryutaro Hashimoto
72 Keizo Obuchi September 11, 1997 July 30, 1998 322
73 Masahiko Kōmura July 30, 1998 October 5, 1999 432 Keizo Obuchi
(70) Yōhei Kōno October 5, 1999 April 26, 2001 569
Yoshiro Mori
74 Makiko Tanaka April 26, 2001 January 29, 2002 278 Junichiro Koizumi
75 Junichiro Koizumi January 29, 2002 February 1, 2002 3
76 Yoriko Kawaguchi February 1, 2002 September 27, 2004 969
77 Nobutaka Machimura September 27, 2004 October 31, 2005 399
78 Tarō Asō October 31, 2005 August 27, 2007 665
Shinzō Abe
(77) Nobutaka Machimura August 27, 2007 September 26, 2007 30
(73) Masahiko Kōmura September 26, 2007 September 24, 2008 364 Yasuo Fukuda
79 Hirofumi Nakasone September 24, 2008 September 16, 2009 357 Taro Aso
80 Katsuya Okada September 16, 2009 September 17, 2010 366 Yukio Hatoyama
Naoto Kan
81 Seiji Maehara September 17, 2010 March 7, 2011 171
Yukio Edano
(Acting)
March 7, 2011 March 9, 2011 2
82 Takeaki Matsumoto March 9, 2011 September 2, 2011 177
83 Kōichirō Genba September 2, 2011 December 26, 2012 481 Yoshihiko Noda
84 Fumio Kishida December 26, 2012 August 3, 2017 1681 Shinzō Abe
85 Tarō Kōno August 3, 2017 September 11, 2019 769
86 Toshimitsu Motegi September 11, 2019 Incumbent 85

See also

References

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